AN EAST Yorkshire company has agreed an initial five-year contract to supply beef genetics to a French co-operative.

The Stabiliser Cattle Company (SCC) of Givendale, near Pocklington, York, has signed an agreement for Bovinext to be the exclusive provider of Stabiliser genetics to French breeders.

Stabilisers continue to be the fastest growing breed of cattle in the UK, and their moderate, easy calving frame with high fertility and efficient feed conversion traits opened the gates to the new international export market.

Laurent Rouyer, president of Bovinext, said French farmers are increasingly aware of their native breeds becoming too big for the market and not delivering consistent, high-marbled meat quality for which there is growing consumer demand.

He said these factors, and the desire to increase farm margins had generated a lot of excitement on the French market with 50 breeders already making plans to use Stabiliser semen and embryos.

The initial five year contract is set to deliver genetics through extensive semen sales and embryo transfers, with an initial target of 1,000 Stabiliser breeding females in France.

Live cattle exports will also be a crucial component of meeting the target and the first set of breeding heifers will arrive in France in November according to SCC technical manager Dr Duncan Pullar.

French born Stabiliser calves will be included in the UK EBV evaluation programme to ensure continued genetic progress and on-going links with Stabilisers in the UK.

Dr Pullar said: “Including the performance data generated in France in our UK evaluation is going to make a good project even stronger because French breeders will be able to compare their cattle with those in the UK and make good breeding decisions based on the same EBVs.”

AHDB’s French export manager Rémi Fourrier, who facilitated the agreement, said it was a “win-win” situation in that it supports UK farmers while showcasing quality beef and genetics the UK has to offer.

Richard Fuller, SCC business development director, predicted the agreement would increase future demand for UK beef genetics.

He said: “The potential in France is enormous for UK beef genetics by working with Bovinext’s million-cow network.

“French breeds swept into the UK in the 1960s and 1970s because they outperformed the native breeds on growth and yield.

“How exciting now that we can export Stabiliser beef cattle genetics that excel in growth, yield and eating quality to the French! We fully expect more demand for our genetics.”